The Poem She Didn't Write and Other Poems by Olena Kalytiak Davis

This is a book of marvelous contrasts. The poems are crass and bodily but steeped in poetic tradition and formal craft. Petrarch's Francesca, Lesbia, Lowell, and a chaotic party of philosophers, poets, and artists come in and out of the poems, which deal with topics of sex, both elicit and good, and brutal rape. There's frank and unsentimental single motherhood. These poems are raw, and modern, and classical. They're sonnets and forms. The language is old (sometimes) and modern (sometimes), but consistently powerful. Buy here.

 

From "Francesca Says More"

that maiden thump was book on floor, but / does it really matter who kissed who / first and then who decided to go further?

 

From "Look at Lesbia Now!"

let the kindergarten parents talk: / yeah, you know, the divorced one, the "poet", / the one who wears "the jeans", / bags under her pink eyes, her young boyfriend / just moved back to new york.

 

From "Hello Poem"

Poem, you are supposed to be for me / Not against me. / Do not tell me that part of the problem is I know I am hot! / It's spring, Poem, take us outside.